UGC steps in to check drug abuse

UGC steps in to check drug abuse

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has directed all the vice-chancellors to ensure setting up of a mechanism for strict control of sale, purchase and consumption of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances by students of colleges affiliated to their respective universities.

This comes following a recent request from the Department of Revenue to the Ministry of Human Resource Development for compliance of the national policy on narcotics drugs and psychotropic substance.

Issuing the directive to the varsity heads on August 27, the higher education regulator has also requested them to apprise it with the action taken by them in the matter.

The national policy, formulated last year to check the trafficking and consumption of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances in the country, stipulates that all institutions of higher learning and schools will make efforts to prevent sale of drugs to students.

At a quarterly meeting to monitor progress of the implementation of the actionable points of the national policy on narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances earlier this year, it was noted that measures taken so far by the universities were not satisfactory, sources in the HRD Ministry said.

“The government is committed to ensure a drug-free environment in educational institutions and student community. We have taken several measures to check the use of banned drugs by students,” a HRD Ministry official said.

In accordance with the provisions of the National Curriculum Framework 2005, contents related to drug abuse have been incorporated in the text books of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) to make students understand its ill-effects on their health and future prospects in their formative age itself.

“But, a consistent effort has to be made to sensitise and educate students by other means, both in schools and colleges, to keep them away from drug abuse. The adolescents are most vulnerable to it. The UGC directive is part of such effort. The students need to be regularly sensitised and informed about the adverse effects of drug abuse,” the official added.

According to the data with the national crime record bureau, huge quantity of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances were recovered during 2008-12 and over 10,000 cases were registered only in 2012.